Update: Photo gallery with more pictures of North Walsham’s Christmas lights switch-on

Festive "snow" falling on the crowds at North Walsham's Christmas lights switch-on. Photo: Karen Bet

Festive "snow" falling on the crowds at North Walsham's Christmas lights switch-on. Photo: Karen Bethell - Credit: Archant

Flurries of artificial snow gave added festive flair to North Walsham's Christmas lights switch on this evening.

Crowds packed Market Place to watch former Anglia TV presenter Helen McDermott lead the laser-beam countdown which was projected on to a wall. She was helped by the three young daughters - Keziah, Keeley and Yazmin - of North Walsham Mayor Jacqueline Belson.

As Market Place lit up, the snow shot out over the crowds from the Market Cross roof.

Nearby, children queued for a chance to visit Father Christmas in his grotto and the street was filled with stalls and fairground rides.

Earlier in the afternoon St Nicholas Parish Church had been filled with hundreds of children, parents and grandparents, enjoying craft activities including making stained-glass windows, mitres, bunting and advent candles, decorating biscuits and writing cards for a prayer tree.

Assistant curate Rev Valerie Watts said they had been 'overwhelmed', with more people than in any previous year.

Visitors to the church were greeted by choirboy George Penrose and his attendant, younger brother Jacob, who gave out gold chocolate coins.

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George has been chosen as this year's Boy Bishop, an ancient tradition which sees a boy dressed and treated like a bishop for a short period.

Dave Turner, chairman of North Walsham's Christmas lights committee, said he was pleased and relieved that everything had gone smoothly.

A team of half a dozen people had spent five hours on five Sunday mornings putting up and testing the lights. The six were: Dave Turner, Barry Hester, Carl Baker, Colin Jeary, Mike Kirby and Roger Hopkinson.

? Helen McDermott will be back in North Walsham later in December when she plays The Lady in the Lake in the Atrium's family Christmas production of King Arthur and the Holy Grail, from December 8-21.